Oct. 19, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — From Lisa Bluder dancing her way down the steps to Mediacom Court to Fran McCaffery driving into Carver-Hawkeye Arena in a yellow corvette. Friday night’s Black & Gold Blowout was all about entertaining the 5,792 fans in attendance.
The Hawkeyes did just that.
“I thought it was excellent,” said Steve Weisenborn, a first time Blowout attendee from Carroll, Iowa. “The atmosphere in Carver was electric with the fan support. It was a great event.”
Fireworks, spotlights, player-specific music and fireballs accompanied each of the players during each team’s introductions.
“It was awesome, I am glad they brought it back,” said senior captain Eric May. “I hope the fans are… I had a lot of fun. It’s something that needs to happen every year. It gets people excited and it’s a good kickoff to the season.
“The fans love seeing the players’ lighter side. We were like rock stars up there with the flames. It was cool.”
McCaffery said the original idea was for him to be repelled from the cat walk down to center court, but the university’s risk management office wouldn’t comply. He settled for driving a $75,000 sports car.
“When I first come through you go through the smoke and you can’t see anything,” said McCaffery. “All I need to do is run into somebody or something. We did a dry run, so it was a good thing.”
For longtime Iowa fan Don Beck, the return of the Blowout was welcomed. The last time the program staged the event was in 2007. It was the first time both the men’s and women’s teams were showcased in a single event.
“I am glad the Blowout is back,” said Beck, a native of Danville, Iowa. “We’ve been waiting for it for quite some time for the season to start. I was glad we were able to come out and see the teams.”
“It was awesome, I am glad they brought it back. I hope the fans are… I had a lot of fun. It’s something that needs to happen every year. It gets people excited and it’s a good kickoff to the season.”
Senior Eric May
In a battle for 3-point supremacy, senior guard Jaime Printy downed sophomore guard Josh Oglesby in the battle of the sexes, 20-11. The contest was also for bragging rights in Cedar Rapids with Printy prepping at Linn-Mar and Oglesby from Washington High School.
“I went out there and tried to have fun,” said Printy. “Josh and I were trash talking before. He got cold, and I got lucky.”
Printy’s favorite part of the night included freshman teammate Kali Peschel and her younger sisters, Kelsey and Victoria, performing Harlem Globetrotter-like ball-handling tricks at center court.
“It was an awesome feeling being able to do something with my sisters on the court before I even got to play on the court,” said Peschel. “I was more nervous than they were. They do this for their life right now, so they loved it.”
In the men’s dunk contest, May brought the crowd to its feet with a dunk to remember. The Dubuque native lobbed the ball to just inside the free throw line where fellow senior Christopher Rickert headed it off the backboard before May caught it in mid-air and slammed it home.
“We came up with that yesterday and practiced a couple of times,” said May. “It worked. It took a couple of tries. It was two seniors putting the senior brains together and figuring it out.”
The night was a good start to the 2012-13 seasons and optimism is high surrounding the Hawkeye hoopsters.
“Everyone is looking forward to the season, but it won’t be easy with three (men’s) Big Ten teams in the top five in the nation,” said Beck. “It’s a tough road to go, but Fran is the man.”